Ecclesmachen, West Lothian, Scotland GenealogyEdit This Page

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Scotland Gotoarrow.png West Lothian Gotoarrow.png Ecclesmachen

Parish #666

This is a guide to the history and major genealogical records of Scotland as they pertain to the parish of Ecclesmachen. To learn more about how to use these records to search for your ancestors, go to the Scotland: Research Strategies.



ECCLESMACHAN, a parish, in the county of Linlithgow; containing the villages of ThreeMile-town and Waterston, 1 mile (N.) from Uphall. This place derives its name from the dedication of its ancient church to St. Machan, who flourished in the ninth century. The church, which was nearly rebuilt in the beginning of the last century, and thoroughly repaired in 1822, is a plain structure containing 153 sittings.[1]

The New Statistical Account of Scotland (pub. 1834-45) offers uniquely rich and detailed parish reports for the whole of Scotland, covering a vast range of topics including history, agriculture, education, trades, religion and social customs. The reports, written by the parish ministers, are available online at Click on ‘Browse scanned pages’ then search the parish reports for your parish of interest. Also available at the Family History Library.

Census Records

A census is a count and description of the population, taken by the government, arranged by locality and by household. Read more about census records.

Click here[low quality link] to see the FamilySearch Catalog entry for the 1841-1891 census records of Ecclesmachen, as well as the catalog entry for the 1881 surname indexes

The 1901 census of Scotland is indexed on To use it, you must register and pay a small access fee. All available censuses, 1841-1901, are indexed on this website. It may be easier for you to pay to use the website rather than access the separate indexes through the library.

Church Records

The Established Church of Scotland was Presbyterian. Read more about Scotland Church Records.

Here are the pre-1855 records that exist for this parish.

Established Church—Old Parochial Registers


Event Type Years Covered FHL Film Number
Births: 1717-1854 1066628 items 3-4
Marriages: 1794-1854 1066629 items 3-4
Deaths: 1792-1854 1066629 items 3-4

Condition of Original Registers—

Indexed: For an index to these records, see the Scottish Church Records Index on computer at the Family History Library and family history centers.  Some records may be indexed in the International Genealogical Index. 
Births: There are eight irregular entries for 1713–1726 on a slip at the beginning of the record. There are no entries for February 1736–March 1740. There are five pages of irregular entries for 1739–1785. There are five more pages of irregular entries for 1718–1793 found after the original record for November 1802. Mothers' names are not recorded until 1733.
Marriages: The record prior to 1842 is a copy, but the original from June 1807–December 1824 is extant. There is no entry for 1822.
Deaths: There is only one entry for November 1802–January 1805. There are no entries for 1814 and only one for 1819.
Source: Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland, by V. Ben Bloxham, pub. 1970. British Book 941 K23b.

Established Church—Kirk Session Records

The Kirk session was the court of the parish. The Kirk session was made up of he minister and the land owners and business men of the parish, chosen to serve on the session. The Kirk session dealt with moral issues, minor criminal cases, matters of the poor and education, matters of discipline, and the general concerns of the parish. Kirk session records may also mention births, marriages, and deaths.

Here is a list of the surviving Kirk session records for this parish:

Minutes and Accounts 1662–1688, 1694–1697, 1700–1703, 1717–1784, 1787–1950
Deaconry Book 1739–1786
Note: Available at the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, record CH2/623.

Nonconformist Church Records

A nonconformist church is any church that is not the Established church. Read more about nonconformity in Scotland in the article on the Scotland Church Records Union List.

There are no known nonconformist groups. Search neighboring parishes.

Civil Registration Records

Government or civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths (also called Statutory records) began on January 1, 1855 in Scotland. Each parish has a registrar's office and large cities have several. The records are created by the registrars and copies are sent to the General Register Office in Edinburgh. Annual indexes are then created for the records for the whole country.
See the article on Scotland Civil Registration for more information and to access the records.

Probate Records

Ecclesmachen was under the probate jurisdiction of the Commissary Court of Edinburgh until 1823, and since then has been under the Sheriff's Court of Linlithgow. Probate records for 1513- 1901 are indexed online at You must register on the website but use of the index to probate records, called 'Wills & Testaments,' is free. You may then purchase a copy of the document or, if the document is before 1823, it will be on microfilm at the Family History Library. To find the microfilm numbers, search in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of West Lothian and the subject of 'Probate records.' Then click on the link to the records of the Commissariat of Edinburgh.

The library also has some post-1823 probate records for West Lothian. Look in the library catalog for the 'Place-names' of West Lothian and the subjects of 'Probate Records' and 'Probate Records - Indexes.'


Read more about Scotland Probate Records.


  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846), pp. 349-361. Adapted. Date accessed: 17 April 2014.

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  • This page was last modified on 13 June 2015, at 15:03.
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